Cell adhesion and spreading at a charged interface: Insight into the mechanism using surface techniques and mathematical modelling

Electrochimica Acta, Volume 176, 2015, Pages 743–754.

Nadica Ivošević DeNardis, Jadranka Pečar Ilić, Ivica Ružić, Galja Pletikapić

Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, POB 180, HR-10002 Zagreb, Croatia.


We study the kinetics of adhesion and spreading of an algal cell and its plasma membrane vesicle at the charged interface. A simple system of an isolated plasma membrane vesicle without internal content has been developed and characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). We extend the methodology based on the reaction kinetics model and empirical fitting for the analysis of amperometric signals, and demonstrate its validity and pertinence in a wide range of surface charge densities. Adhesion kinetics of the algal cell is slower than that of its plasma membrane vesicle. Isolated plasma membrane contributes about one quarter to the cell contact area. The model reconstructs and quantifies individual states of the three-step adhesion process of the algal cell and makes it possible to associate them with various features of amperometric signal. At the time of current amplitude, the ruptured state predominates and the cell spread contact area is larger than its initial area as well as the contact area of the plasma membrane vesicle. These results suggest that a major structural disruption of the cell membrane, collapse of cytoskeleton and leakage of intracellular material could appear close to the time of current amplitude. Further, slow kinetics of the organic film spreading at the interface to its maximal extent is considered as the rate determining step, which could be a consequence of the attenuated effect of potential at the modified interface, stronger intermolecular interactions and reorganization of molecules in the film. Our findings offer an insight into the mechanism of algal cell adhesion and spreading at charged interfaces, relevant for electroporation based studies.

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